Many people hate cleaning.
Thankfully, vacuum manufacturers have made the task a bit easier for us over the last few years.
It used to be that you had to have two vacuums. A floor model for cleaning carpets and rugs, and a hand-held version for vacuuming smaller spaces. Both required expensive replacement bags that you had to change often.
Today though, most vacuums combine the floor cleaning and handheld dusting functions into one unit. And most vacuum makers have moved away from using bags altogether.
One option that you might consider for your RV is a central vacuum cleaner.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to central vacuum systems, and show you how to install a popular central vacuum system in your RV.
What is a Central Vacuum Cleaner?
A central vacuum cleaner is a special type of vacuum cleaner that is installed semi-permanently into a home, RV, or boat.
If you were in the market to buy a home in the 1990s, you probably remember the craze around central vacuuming systems. Many real estate professionals and home builders recommended them as a way to increase the resale value of your home by up to $2,000.
At the time, it seemed they were only found in upscale homes and townhouses. Today though, they appear to be more common. In fact, in the last few years a couple of Dirt Devil models have been made especially for RVers.
Advantages of Using a Central Vacuum System in Your RV
Central vacuum systems have a few advantages over traditional hand-held vacuums.
For one, they exhaust out of the living area of your RV, reducing the amount of dust and allergens that are recycled in the air.
Even vacuums with multi-level filtration systems aren’t 100% efficient, and will put small dirt particles back into your living spaces.
A central vacuum system eliminates the need to carry a heavy unit around your RV.
Instead, you can plug in a short, light hose to inlets located around your rig.
Turn on the centrally-located power unit, and the dust and debris will be sucked through the hose and into the main waste receptacle.
Some other advantages include:
- no need to carry around a tangled power cord
- easier on your back and shoulders because the heavy central power unit stays in one spot
- larger debris canister means changing bags less frequently – if the system even uses bags
- increased suction power
- low noise
- less damage to walls and furniture (no heavy unit banging into things repeatedly)
- typically lasts longer (less wear and tear)
Here’s an example of a popular central vacuum system for RVs, the Dirt Devil CV1500.
Disadvantages of Central Vacuum Systems
With all those advantages, you’ll probably want to install a central vacuum system right away.
But things aren’t as rosy as they may seem.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to stick with your standard handheld vacuum cleaner.
- cost – while household central vacuum systems usually run around $1,000, an RV system will cost about $300
- cost of bags – the popular Dirt Devil CV1500 still uses bags – why!?
- maintenance – usually not much more than a standard upright vacuum
- installation hassle -fortunately this is a one time event and can easily be done by yourself
The two biggest disadvantages of the CV1500 seem to be the cost (although the price on some of the fanciest vacuum cleaners on the market today, like the Dyson Animal, are even higher) and the need for bags.
It’s sort of surprising that one of the most popular central vacuum systems for RVs still requires the use of bags!
And the bags aren’t cheap, about $10 for a pack of three.
The Dirt Devil CV1500 uses HEPA filter bags that can capture 99.97% of all particles too small to see, but still large enough to penetrate into your lungs.
How to Install the Dirt Devil CV1500 Central Vacuum System In Your RV
Dirt Devil released a central vacuum system made specififcally RVs, called the CV950, a few years ago.
Recently, they’ve upgraded the design and now sell a new version called the CV1500.
While the Dirt Devil CV1500 comes with everything you need to install it, these videos will help guide you.
This vacuum is awesome in my 5th wheel. It was simple to install and only took about an hour. Now cleaning is easy and the attachments store easily.
See how one couple installed the Dirt Devil CV1500 into their 2002 Itasca Suncruiser.
Here’s another video by Mark Polk showing how he installed a Dirt Devil CV1500 in his motorhome.
Let us know how your installation went, and if you have any tips for other RVers who wish to install their own central vacuum cleaner.